KEEP PRAYING FOR ISRAEL
More than 40 fires burned across Southern Israel last week due to incendiary balloon attacks, while Israeli security forces confronted Palestinian demonstrators and rioters atop the Temple Mount after Friday prayer services at the al-Aqsa Mosque.
Gaza militant groups have been releasing hundreds of incendiary balloons over the security fence into Israeli territory surrounding the Gaza Strip known as the Gaza Envelope, sparking more than 40 fires as the summer heat and dry brush create a tinderbox in the fields around Israeli communities. The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has responded with several airstrikes on Tuesday and Thursday evening, targeting government buildings and military sites controlled by the ruling Hamas party. Small arms fire towards an Israeli drone on Thursday night briefly triggered security alerts in Southern Israel.
Meanwhile, tensions rose in Jerusalem and near the West Bank city of Nablus on Friday, as Palestinians called for a demonstration following Friday services at the al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount. A “Day of Rage” was planned in response to the Jerusalem Day parade on Wednesday, when some Israeli marchers were heard chanting “Death to Arabs!” and allegedly insulting the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.
Palestinians threw stones at Israeli Border security officers near the al-Aqsa Mosque, after security forces raided the compound in response to the threat. The Red Crescent agency reported three Palestinians hospitalized in the aftermath. Similar confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli security forces took place in other parts of Jerusalem and in the West Bank village of Beita, near the southern entrance of the Palestinian center of Nablus, just 50 kilometers north of Jerusalem.
The fires in southern Israel and clashes around Jerusalem represent the first test for Israel’s new government, which was sworn in by the Israeli Knesset (parliament) last weekend, following the formation of an unlikely coalition between Naftali Bennett’s right-wing Yamina party and Yair Lapid’s center-left Yesh Atid party. Under the unity deal, Bennett will serve as Prime Minister for two years while Lapid serves as Foreign Minister, after which both men will exchange positions for the latter two years of the current 4-year term.
The coalition also includes other prominent right-wing figures in Israeli politics, such as Gideon Saar (Finance Minister) and Avigdor Liebermann (Justice Minister), former allies of ousted Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. Centrist Benny Gantz remains as defense minister. The new government is lauded as the first to include both an orthodox Jewish prime minister (Bennett) and an Israeli-Arab party (Joint List) although it is considered extremely fragile by most analysts and is not expected to hold together for the entire four-year term.
We ask the global Maranatha family to join us in prayer for the new Israeli government, and especially its leading cabinet, as they navigate the ever-increasing hostility and complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian relationship. We pray that divine wisdom would be granted to Israel’s civil and military leaders in responding to the aggression of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, and other genocidal militant groups who are armed and directed by Iran. We pray for a divine hedge of protection around the people of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank. We pray that the “powers and principalities of the air” would be restrained in their attempts to foment violence and hatred in the Land, and that the ongoing tension would draw both Isaac and Ishmael to the Prince of Peace. . . .
How are you praying for Israel right now? Let us know your prayers and thoughts in the comments below!
(Excerpt from FAI Mission. Article written by FAI. Photo by Toa Heftiba/UnSplash)
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